Pommes Anna…Midwest Style
Yes, Pommes Anna is a French recipe, sorta combined with another French recipe, Lyonnaise Potatoes… to come up with Pommes Anna…Midwest Style.
Allow me to give just a bit of background on this dish that I have modified.
The original Pommes Anna recipe is found in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” vol 2.
By the way, both volumes are huge and each recipe usually requires page after page of steps….not so fun, …and many recipes like “Shoulder of Lamb stuffed with Kidneys and Rice.”..just are not my cup of tea 😉
But, I do like the “Pommes Anna” recipe.
This is a potato dish…but Pommes are not potatoes.
Because Pomme means ‘apple’ in French.
And this recipe does not have apples in it…although that might be another modification for the future! 🙂
However, pomme de terre….means ‘apples of the earth’ (in French) AND….therefore, the description for a potato is “apple of the earth”!
I looked up the second part of the French name…‘Anna’ of the “Pommes Anna” recipe, and found it refers to the era of Napoleon III, where many culinary successes were named after famous “cocottes” ..or ladies of the night, to put it kindly. Probably too much information! 🙂
OK,…enough background, let us talk about how simple this recipe actually is.
In the Midwest, many cooks…my grandparents and mother make a simple fried potato dish and add chopped onion and lots of black pepper and salt of course. Yummy!
These Midwest potatoes resemble Potatoes Lyonnaise, …another French recipe which means pre-cooked potatoes, coupled with caramelized onions and cooked together in a frying pan.
I decided to modify the Pommes Anna by adding a layer of sliced onions with the layers of sliced potatoes…which would result in Pommes Anna…Midwest Style.
The neat thing about this recipe is you slice the potatoes and onions and layer them in a circle in a heavy cast iron skillet, drizzle butter over each layer, which gives a delicious buttery flavor throughout the potatoes….and pop it in the oven for 40-50 minutes.
The end result is a “dome” of potatoes (and onions) for a beautiful presentation when turned upside down on a platter after baking.
The good news is this classic French “dome” of potatoes can be baked ahead of time (up to 8 hours) and put in the fridge.
When ready to serve….just pop in a 350 degree oven and reheat.
Do any of you, my dear readers…. like French cooking?
- 4-6 medium russet potatoes, unpeeled
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 small onion, sliced to use as one layer
- Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Using a mandolin (or sharp knife) slice potatoes in 1/4 - 1/8 inch slices and set aside
- Slice the onion, same size and set aside
- Brush an ovenproof 10-inch cast iron skillet with 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter.
- Starting in center of skillet, arrange potato slices in a circular pattern...either flat or standing on edge.Work using a circular pattern, covering the surface. Brush with butter and generously season with salt and pepper. Make another layer with the onion slices.
- Brush with butter and season.
- Repeat for two additional potato layers
- Drizzle any remaining butter on top of potatoes.
- Place skillet over medium-high heat and cook until butter in the skillet sizzles (about 4 minutes) Transfer skillet to oven and bake about 40-50 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Remove from oven and run a thin spatula around edges of potatoes to loosen.
- Carefully invert onto a plate and cut into wedges.
- Do not place sliced potatoes in water; the starch is needed to bind the layers.
- You can also use a nonstick skillet or pie plate.
- You may also use sweet potatoes alternately with the white potatoes and onion.
- If you prefer to peel the potatoes...please do so.
- Be very careful if using a mandolin to slice...always use the protector cover when the potato or onion gets smaller in size. 🙂